Ode to an Old House

I walked in and fell in love. I saw you for all your potential; your light, your charm, your openness. I knew that, in you, I could breathe. You weren’t without your flaws. Cracks and broken things could be found without looking hard, but it’s only to be expected when you’ve seen so much life. Life wore you down a bit but also gave you a depth that the new so often lacks. There was nothing cookie-cutter about you. With all your imperfections, you were perfect.

You were the first thing that was just ours.  You were our hideaway and our safe place. In you we decided to tie our lives together, and you saw the pride on his face; the joy in mine. You held us that first year as we found a way to transition from “man and wife” to simply “us.” You heard our raised voices. You took the punishment when I threw shoes and slammed doors and stomped on stairs that never did anything but support me. You stood silent as I began to let go of the girl I used to be. I stared out your windows and watched life roll by outside, and you saw my insides reborn. You sheltered us through storms and snow and heartbreak and you never once judged me for the mess I was and often created.

You were there for us when we became parents. He rolled around on your floors, drooled on your carpets, splashed in your tub. You kept a swing set for him and provided an excellent climbing tree. The breeze wafted in your windows as he napped, and we were happy.

Later, my belly began to swell again and you watched me wither. There was a storm inside me… one you couldn’t shelter me from. It raged and you held steady when I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. You didn’t fail us then. You saw me through to the other side and welcomed in another little person.

You were home to tents and light saber wars and a tiny Spider-Man used to crawl your walls. I scattered planners and curricula across your floor. Ethan learned to swing a bat in your yard. You watched me write a book, you watched me cry when it was published and cry again when it went out of print. 

I jumped on your carpet when we took The Series.

You were our place to land after engagements and appearances and camping trips. You were our sigh of relief when life wore us thin. You’ve seen countless smiles and fits and naps and sleepless nights.

In you we unraveled. In you we were stitched together again.

You and in you were our first everything… but your flaws started to grate on us, and we began to feel constricted. Now we’re leaving you.  We’ve talked about leaving you for years, but it’s just a matter of days until you are home to a new family and we will move on to new walls. Boxes stuffed full of memories litter your floors now, but soon you will be empty. I don’t know what you will be without us, nor what we will be apart from you, but we’re about to find out.

Thank you. For keeping us safe and comfortable. For keeping our secrets and hiding our mess. For having space for so much goodness. For your light and breeze and generosity… thank you.

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